New York Islanders Make Noise During NHL Draft
Garth Snow was apparently well-aware that the Islanders were fourth-worst in terms of goals allowed during the 2011-12 NHL season.
Snow opened up a busy day for the Isles with a trade that sent their second round pick in 2013 for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky scored six goals and had 21 assists in 68 games during a down-year for both the defenseman and the Anaheim Ducks.
This marks the second time in three years that Snow has made a trade for a former Anaheim Ducks defenseman, the last coming in a trade for James Wisniewski in 2010.
When healthy, Visnovsky has been a top-tier defenseman, averaging close to 13 goals and 35 assists the past seven seasons. The trade for Visnovsky leads to indications that Mark Streit will test the free agent market when his contract expires in 2013.
Snow continued to bolster his defense with the drafting of Griffin Reinhart. It was well-known that the Edmonton Oilers coveted Reinhart, and at one point even considered him at the first overall pick. When Reinhart fell to number four, the Isles jumped at him and may have another franchise defenseman to go along with Travis Hamonic.
Reinhart is the son of former Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames defenseman Paul Reinhart. At 6'4”, the Islanders finally have a large, physical presence on defense with some skill, something the Isles have lacked for years. At 18-years-old, it is uncertain if Reinhart will make the team or play in the juniors for another year.
Snow wasn't done with defensemen. As a matter of fact, the Isles proceeded to draft six more defensemen, further bolstering their defensive prospects. The belief is that the Islanders have several skilled forwards already such as Ryan Strome, Kirill Kabanov and Brock Nelson that could contribute within the next few years.
The Long Island development continues when the Islanders host their annual Blue and White game on Thursday where all the Islanders top prospects will be on display at Iceworks in Syosset, New York.
Christopher Benini is a New York Islanders Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be followed here.
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